Rules concerning the competition are as follows.
1. ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to any student enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school during the academic year of the competition who is a legal resident of the United States. Directors, officers and employees of the ABA and their immediate family or household members are not eligible.
2. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: All submissions must be the original work of the entrant. Any relevant article or essay may be submitted for the competition, including writing submitted for academic credit. Submissions must not have been previously published in any media. Only one essay, per competition theme, may be submitted by each entrant.
a. Entries for the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Student Writing Competition: Alternative Dispute Resolution should discuss any aspect of dispute resolution or dispute prevention practice, theory or research related to environmental, energy, or natural resource conflicts or should critique or analyze the dispute resolution process used in a particular case. Essays should conform to the theme of the competition. Submissions may advocate a position, educate the reader, or analyze one or more cases. The decision of whether a particular essay qualifies as to subject matter is entirely within the discretion of the Section.
b. Essays must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format following these criteria: 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper format, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, 12-point type (10-point for footnotes), and must not exceed 2,000 words in length (a maximum of approximately 8 pages, excluding footnotes). Each page must have a header including the title of the paper and a page number. For anonymous evaluation of the entries, no information that could identify the author should appear anywhere in the body of the paper, including in the header, footer or, document properties. Entries are to be submitted as an email attachment to with the subject line: Law Student Writing Competition: Alternative Dispute Resolution.
c. The following information shall be presented on a separate cover sheet: competition theme, essay title; author’s name; law school; expected year of graduation from law school; author’s permanent and temporary addresses; author’s telephone numbers and email address.
d. Entrants should write essays in traditional law review style, presenting a scholarly discussion with full citation to authority in footnotes. Essays should conform to the current edition of The Bluebook—A Uniform System of Citation.
e. Participants acknowledge that ABA will not return any submitted essay entries. All participants retain full copyright to their entries except that winners are required to license certain rights to the ABA (see paragraph 7 below) as a condition of entry.
3. SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: The format of this competition has been selected to stimulate creativity of thought and research. Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (1) writing quality; (2) analysis and legal reasoning; (3) originality; (4) quality and use of research; and (5) compliance with these Rules. The entries will be judged anonymously by a committee comprised of members of the Section’s substantive committee that sponsored the competition theme. Winning selections will be made by the committee. The Section Director will notify the winners by email of their selection no later than May 1, 2016. The Section reserves the right not to award any prizes if it is determined that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year. If a potential winner does not respond within ten (10) business days after ABA’s first attempt to contact him or her, or if the contact is returned as non-deliverable, the potential winner forfeits all rights to be named as winner or receive a prize, and an alternate winner may be chosen.
4. PRIZES: The first place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, the second place winner will receive $750, and the third place winner will receive $500. The winners will be announced in e-News, the Section’s monthly electronic newsletter, as well as on the Section’s website. The three winning essays will be posted on the Section’s website in a .pdf format. Winning essays will appear in an upcoming issue of the Section’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Newsletter. Winners must submit a completed W-9 to receive their cash prize. The full fair market value of the prize will be reported on a 1099. Winners are responsible for all taxes in connection with receiving a prize.
5. ODDS OF WINNING: Chances of winning will vary depending on the number and quality of entries. However, Sponsor reserves the right not to award any prize if the judges determine that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit selection that year.
6. ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS: For a list of prize winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope by May 31, 2016 to the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.
7. LICENSE/GRANT OF RIGHTS: By entering, the winners grant to the ABA the following rights: (1) the exclusive worldwide right of first publication of their entry in any and all ABA media or form of communication; (2) the non-exclusive worldwide right, in ABA’s sole discretion, to use, transcribe, publish reproduce, distribute, sell (as part of an ABA publication) or display the entry, alone or in conjunction with other materials; (3) the right to edit the essay to conform to the publication’s standards of style, technological requirements, language, grammar and punctuation, provided the meaning of the essay is not materially altered; and (4) the non-exclusive worldwide right to use the winner’s name and likeness in connection with the essay or this Writing Competition without further compensation. Additionally, the winning entrant must execute a separate licensing agreement giving the ABA the publication rights enumerated above and the right to use the article for any other purpose related to the ABA mission. If the winner fails to sign the agreement within 10 business days of receipt, the prize will be considered forfeited and another winner named.
8. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Entries must be submitted by e-mail on or before Friday, April 1, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. (central).
9. LAWS AND REGULATIONS: This contest is governed by U.S. law and all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By entering, all participants agree that the competition shall be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, that the courts of Illinois shall have exclusive jurisdiction, and that Cook County, Illinois shall be the venue for any dispute or litigation relating to or arising from the competition. Void where prohibited by law.
10. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: By participating, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, and releases and discharges the ABA, subsidiary and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively “Sponsor”) from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively “Claims”). Except where prohibited, acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this promotion and the use, misuse or possession of any prize. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor is not responsible for errors or for lost, late, or misdirected mail or email, or telecommunication or hardware or software failures, including by reason of any bug or computer virus or other failure. Sponsor may cancel, modify or terminate the promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical difficulties of any kind.
11. OPT-OUT OPTION: Any individual may elect to opt out of receiving future contest mailings by calling the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.
13. SPONSOR: American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.